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February 2, 2009 - 5:58pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, city council, consolidation, town, city.

City and town of Batavia officials announced today that a Web site will be launched by the end of the week devoted to the consolidation plan right now being put together for the municipalities. We've included most of the text from that press release below. We also received a "Consolidation Plan Process Flow Chart" that details the process for approving the potential consolidation.

Noting that the "topic of consolidation has generated tremendous interest in Batavia in recent weeks," Town Supervisor Greg Post and City Council President Charlie Mallow today issued a joint statement endorsing the work of the joint consolidation planning committee. They also announced that by the end of the week the City and Town websites will have links to a special "Batavia Consolidation Plan" website so that area residents can stay informed about the planning process.

Mallow and Post pointed out that the actual work of developing the plan is the responsibility of the seven-member City/Town Consolidation Study Committee that is working with the Center for Governmental Research (CGR), a nonprofit consulting group based in Rochester. "We were both please with its decision — one recently endorsed by our respective boards — to move from a 'study' to a 'plan,'" they said.

Post added, "I'm a believer in smaller government and I'm action-oriented. This community does not need a study that sits on a shelf. It needs a plan so that Town voters have the choice of saying yes or no."

Mallow said, "I'm a firm believer in consolidating the City and Town, because there are so many benefits for our community going forward. Consolidation will positively impact every generation that comes after us."

They pointed out that the Committee will develop a report of model options for the combined community by June 1. The Committee will then hold community forums for the public to provide input in June and July. Based on the input, the Committee will develop a draft plan to present to the City Council and Town Board in early August. Assuming City Council and Town Board approve, a consolidation plan will be presented to City and Town voters at the November 3 election.

Please click here to download the full press release.

April 30, 2008 - 5:13pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, restaurants, business, downtown, town.

Don't let anyone ever tell you that Batavia doesn't have good food. You have already heard us rave about the tacos de asada at Margarita's on Jackson Street — personally, I've already been back a few times. And, if you've entertained even a passing interest in our daily goings-on here at The Batavian, you would know that we've happily sucked down our fair share of lattes at Main Street Coffee, our current base of operations.

Well, today, I took off in search of some more unknown territory — political, edible and otherwise. After a stop at the Batavia Town Hall and the county historian's office, I made my way to Oliver's Candies on Main Street... for a taste.

Jeremy Liles manages the place these days. He smiles and jokes the way I imagine anyone would who spent their life and career in a candy store.

He told me that, though the candy is the main draw, Oliver's is sought out just as much for its roadside sign — a relic from an America few of us can even recall first-hand, back when we still danced with flappers, still spoke of Reds and fascists, still made phonecalls through a switchboard operator. But it's exactly that kitschy history appeal that landed a photograph of the sign on the Web site of a cross-country chronicler of "roadside architecture" — a fine profession or hobby, if I say so myself.

That being said, it's most certainly the sweets that run the show at Oliver's.

"People love candy," says Jeremy. "That's all there is to it."

...and from sweet to salty, my day only got better when I ducked out of the cold sun into the warm dark of O'Lacy's Irish Pub next to Jackson Square.

You could almost smell the mutton from outside. You could almost taste the bitter black porter when you're barely through the door. O'Lacy's doesn't mince words. It's as Irish a joint as they come.

And that's all well and good. I've been to plenty of Irish pubs on this side of the Atlantic and the other. They've all got the beer and the decor to make the claim, sure. But O'Lacy's has the nosh to prove that they dive further into the culture than just a few leprechaun jokes and clovers.

Chicken and biscuits were on special. Beef on Weck was likely a can't miss.

But I'm a sucker for a toasty reuben.

Mine came as thick as an elephant's ankle. It was sloppy, hot and delicious. More man than I am, no doubt. Which was fine, since I felt like more of a man having tackled it. Though I must admit that I couldn't quite wolf down the last scraps of corned beef and sauerkraut (slathered in Thousand Island dressing) that squeezed out of my grasp and onto the plate. As my waitress said: It's quite a sandwich. Maybe next time.

Cheers.

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